U.S. Department of Energy Office of Biological and Environmental Research

BER Research Highlights

New Level of CO2 Set in 2010
Published: December 04, 2011
Posted: January 12, 2012

A recent report in Nature Climate Change shows that global fossil-fuel CO2 emissions in 2010 surpassed 9 petagrams of carbon (Pg C) for the first time, more than offsetting the 1.4% decrease in 2009 attributed to the 2008 worldwide financial crisis. The research, supported by DOE's Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center (CDIAC) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, shows that the impact of the 2008-2009 global financial crisis on emissions was short lived due to strong emissions growth in emerging economies, a return to emissions growth in developed economies, and an increase in the fossil-fuel intensity of the world economy following the crisis. The 2010 growth was due primarily to high growth rates in a few key emerging economies namely China (10.4%, 0.212 Pg C) and India (9.4%, 0.049 Pg C). This is the latest CDIAC annual report of time series estimating releases of carbon from fossil-fuel use and cement production on global and national scales. These data quantify the major anthropogenic sources of carbon in the global carbon cycle budget and support research to understand national trends in fossil-fuel CO2 emissions. CDIAC produces gridded products needed for modeling activities (e.g., Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fifth Assessment Report) and provides benchmark data for mitigation efforts and policy discussions.

Reference: Peters, G. P., G. Marland, C. LeQuéré, T. Boden, J. G. Canadell, and M. R. Raupach. 2012. "Rapid Growth in CO2 Emissions After the 2008-2009 Global Financial Crisis," Nature Climate Change 2, 2-4. DOI: 10.1038/nclimate1332. (Reference link)

Contact: Wanda Ferrell, SC-23.1, (301) 903-0043
Topic Areas:

  • Research Area: Atmospheric System Research
  • Research Area: Earth and Environment Systems Data Management

Division: SC-23.1 Climate and Environmental Sciences Division, BER


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